Southampton will look to get back to winning ways after falling short against an industrious Leicester City side last weekend. As for Shrewsbury Town, this will be the first outing in three weeks when they step out to St. Mary’s in the FA Cup, having not played since 29th December.
The FA Cup tie was originally called off on the 9th of January after a coronavirus outbreak within the Shrewsbury camp. The winner of this third-round clash will face Arsenal at home this Saturday.
Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill will be absent from the sidelines as he recovers in hospital after a positive test for coronavirus. Assistant coach Aaron Wilbraham will take charge from the dugout in the hope of causing an upset against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Southampton have struggled with injuries of late and will be without key players for the clash on Tuesday night.
Southampton’s talisman, Danny Ings is still making a recovery to full fitness after testing positive for coronavirus after the Liverpool game. Jannick Vestergaard will still be sidelined with a knee injury, expected to return in February.
The south coast club’s injury woes continued last weekend against Leicester as academy graduate Will Smallbone suffered an ACL injury which will keep the young prospect out for the rest of the season.
To add to the injury list, Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo, Oriol Romeu, Nathan Tella, Mohammed Salisu and Michael Obafemi will be out of contention.
Southampton have come out on top in both occasions the two sides have met in the FA Cup, winning 4-1 in the fourth round in 1952/53 and 2-0 in the first round in 2010/11.
Shrewsbury have never won away at Southampton in nine previous attempts in all competitions, D2 L7.
Ones to watch
Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse will seek to dictate the game from deep and drive the ball forward to push the side up the pitch. The England international has been a consistent performer throughout the season so far, playing every minute of football for Hasenhuttl’s side.
Ward-Prowse possesses a wand of a right foot, especially from dead-ball situations. The free-kick maestro has produced four goals and four assists this campaign and has become a real threat to any opposition.
Shrewsbury will turn to the ever reliant Shaun Whalley who has netted on five occasions and produced three assists this season. The 33-year-old will look to use his experience to cause problems against a makeshift Southampton defence at St.Mary’s.
Hasenhuttl could turn to academy graduates with the number of injuries he has on his hands. They will be keen to impress and aim to break into the starting 11.
“It will be a mixed group. Some players have to play because there are not a lot of alternatives. Some young guys have to step in and show what they have shown in our sessions, how they are developing."
Assistant coach Wilbraham sees the game as a good opportunity for the Shropshire club to cause a cup upset.
“We are obviously expecting a difficult game away from home. But it’s a chance for us to go there and prove ourselves against top opposition."
How to watch
The game will be shown live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 2 HD from 7:30pm with action at St.Mary’s Stadium getting underway at 8:00pm.
Live text updates are also available on the VAVEL website.